If you are interested in visiting the Napa Valley/Sonoma area but have dismissed the idea because you have children, you have been wasting time! It is such a common misconception that couples think they can’t bring their kids along on their wine tasting adventures. There are a number of places that are family-friendly which will allow you to take your desired vacation while bringing the kids along for the experience. Stop delaying your vacation and start deciding which remarkable, family-friendly activities and wineries you are going to choose!
- The Petrified Forest in Calistoga is just north of Napa. This year the forest celebrates its 100th anniversary. It is a great place for children to marvel at a variety of petrified trees that are incredibly old and large. Children also love the sparkles that are made from mineral quartz. These sparkles can be found in the petrified wood and on the trail. Admission is only $10 per vehicle and is good for 10 days.
- The Old Faithful Geyser of California is in the heart of the wine country and is also located in Calistoga. The kids will love to adventure through the bamboo and pampas grass in the setting of Mt. St. Helena and the Palisades Mountains to get to the uprising stream of bubbling hot water where they will encounter the skyward outpour that is “the geyser”. To get the most out of your trip, stop by the visitor center beforehand. While you are there you can find out eruption times and get information on ranger led activities. The entrance fees are $25 per vehicle and are good for 7 days.
- Enjoy a tour of Napa or Yountville on a Segway! On the Segway Tour, you and your children can experience the thrill of Napa together or you can just rent the Segways by the hour. Rentals cost $35 per hour or $125 for the day. Children must be at least 90 lbs. to drive their own Segway.
- The Scientopia Discover Center is located in the city of Napa. It’s great for younger kids to check out exhibits, play with toys and enjoy arts & crafts. There’s a lot for children to do and it’s a place where both adults and kids can spend hours without getting bored! Activities include experimenting with different states of matter and exploring in an outdoor play area. Admission to the Scientopia Discover Center costs $8 for children and adult admission is free.
- The Jelly Belly Factory is located in Fairfield. Enjoy a real-working factory tour that teaches you the secret to creating the famous Jelly Belly beans. The tour is free and lasts for about 40 minutes. It’s fun and interesting for everyone!
- The legendary Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo is near Napa. You can’t go wrong if you take your kids to a theme park! They can play games, ride rides and eat bunch of delicious fair type food. Tickets start at $44.99.
- Safari West is also located in the heart of the wine country. The African Jeep Tour experience will give your family a taste of the Serengeti without having to leave the United States. The kids are guaranteed to enjoy this enchanting world of nature and wildlife on this fun tour. Prices range from $35-$95.
- Lake Sonoma is a perfect place to stop for a couple days on your family trip if you have the time. Not only is the location naturally beautiful with meadows and wildflowers, but the amount of activities offered are sure to keep your children enthralled! Your family can participate in camping, fishing tours in the hatchery, kayaking, hiking, swimming, picnics and more. It’s the perfect place for kids to run around and get out some of that pent up energy.
- Bothe Park in Napa Valley is another great natural place for the whole family. This park offers horseback riding, hiking, games for the children and a large swimming pool under the trees. Parking costs $8.
- If you plan on visiting during the holiday season, the town of Calistoga has one of the country’s most old-fashioned Christmas parades. It’s fully decked out in lights and will have your kids feel merrier than ever. It’s really a great place to get into the holiday spirit and to enjoy a magical time with your children.
- Castello di Amorosa features a tour of the castle and dungeon that the kids usually love. While the adults do some wine tasting, the kids do some juice tasting! There’s also a vineyard tour where both kids and adults can learn about how grapes are grown in even the most delicate weather conditions. Admission is $19 for adults and includes tasting of 5 wines. Kid’s admission is $9 and includes a juice tasting.
- Sterling Vineyards has a tram ride to the hilltop where the winery is located with gorgeous views! This is great for families because it is self-guided, so you can go at your own pace. Admission is $10 for those under 21 and children under 3 are free. Adult admission is $29.
- Cline Cellars is located in a farmhouse that was built in the 1850′s. This top-pick winery is great for families to enjoy a nice picnic on the lawn with spring-fed ponds, willow trees, gardens and thousands of roses surrounding you. Adults can even sample some of the wines for free.
- The Clif Family Winery combines their love for the outdoors and wine all into one with the Vino Velo shop that provides wine tasting and bicycles for the whole family to enjoy. Your family can take a nice ride along the winery after the adults get a taste of the Climber Red wine or maybe the Kits Killer Cab Sauvignon. Garden tours are another activity at The Clif that is perfect for both kids and adults. This tour gives a unique insight into what agro-ecological farming is all about.
- The Tudal Family Winery is perfect for families! This winery has places for the kids to explore while you taste what the Tudal Family has been fermenting. They can visit the bocce court, the flower and vegetable gardens, or the collection of historic farm tractors, tools and novelties! There’s also plenty of tables to sit at and enjoy lunch together.
- The Napa Valley Wine Train is a classic for any Napa visitor and also kid-friendly on select nights that are dedicated to Family Fun (ages 3-12 only)! This is offered twice a month during the school year or on Sundays during the summer. For each adult, one child travels free, which is always a plus! The children will be entertained by a professional care provider in a separate car with their own dinner plans while the adults enjoy their dinner together. There’s also special events just for kids during the holiday season such as the Afternoon Santa Express. Prices vary based on days and times chosen to ride on the train.
In general, there are a variety of agencies in the area that provide licensed nannies or babysitters who can take care of your children at your hotel if you wish to go out for a romantic night or just have a little bit of alone time. As you can see, these are only SOME of the endless things you can do with your kids in the Napa Valley and Sonoma areas, so don’t put off your adventures anymore! There’s a lot to do and see in the area no matter what your age is.
Another option that many travelers are not aware of are family tour vacations that visit the California area including Napa Valley and Sonoma.
Browse our selection of family tours in the U.S., Canada and Europe.